PA Workforce Development Association


Corinna Wilson

Denise Hughes
UPMC Health Plan

UPMC Health Plan Earns Prestigious Governor's Achievement Award

Honored for commitment to workforce development

Pittsburgh (May 5, 2021) – The Pennsylvania Workforce Development Association (PWDA) and the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry today awarded the prestigious Governor’s Achievement Award in the large employer category to UPMC Health Plan.

The 37th annual PWDA conference is an award program that recognizes Pennsylvania employers that are exemplary supporters of workforce, community, and economic development and was presented virtually. PWDA is the association for Pennsylvania’s 22 workforce development boards.

"UPMC Health Plan is honored to receive the Governor's Achievement Award. This represents all of the hard work and commitment from our team and partner organizations as they help our community members—especially those who lost jobs during the pandemic—find their pathway to a meaningful career," said Dan LaVallee, Director, UPMC Center for Social Impact, UPMC Health Plan.

In nominating UPMC Health Plan, Susie Puskar, chief program officer for Partner4Work, noted the extraordinary impact that the Health Plan has had on the economy, creating 11,401 jobs in 2019 and increasing its total workforce by 12,526 jobs in 2020.

Partner4Work is the local workforce development board in the Pittsburgh area, connecting funding, expertise and opportunities for employers, job seekers, agencies, and policy makers to develop a thriving workforce.

The Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry is the state agency tasked with promoting economic development and an improved business climate through a variety of initiatives and programs to help Pennsylvania's workforce remain world-class and globally competitive.

"Today we recognize the strong leadership and partnership of UPMC Health Plan," said PWDA Executive Director, Carrie Anne Amman. "The theme of our conference this year is 'Workforce Rising,' and there is no better example of how that happens than UPMC Health Plan, with its commitment to reaching out to the community and providing its employees with family-sustaining wages and benefits, continuous training, and opportunities for career advancement."

Amman recognized UPMC Health Plan’s ongoing commitment to building pathways into living wage jobs and building partnership with the public workforce system, including its successful RK Mellon Award in partnership with Partner4Work, which focused on developing new resources and services to place job seekers—especially those on Medicaid and those who have lost jobs during the pandemic—into career opportunities.

Last year, UPMC Health Plan continued building on this success with the launch of a new health information technology (IT) training program—in partnership with Partner4Work and Health IT Pittsburgh—for individuals in underserved communities, which provides opportunities in the fast-growing field of customer service and health IT.

Additionally, Amann noted that this past January UPMC Health Plan began the Freedom House 2.0 program, providing Emergency Medicine Technician training to members of economically disadvantaged communities, focusing the program not only on essential and occupational skills, but also on to the development of coping and other skills to ensure that trainees are prepared for the rigors of the job. Amann said that graduates of the program are guaranteed an interview with UPMC and given help when applying for other open jobs in the region, as well.

Other ways UPMC has effectively partnered with the public workforce system to benefit job seekers and the region include outreaching to individuals newly enrolled in Medicaid to connect them with the public workforce system, and providing job seekers with supportive services, job search assistance, and a team of recruiters to help shepherd them through the application and interview process.

Amann also thanked UPMC Health Plan for its strong support of Partner4Work's Learn & Earn Summer Youth Employment Program, noting that last summer the Health Plan hosted 12 corporate interns, providing both in person and virtual work experiences.

UPMC Health Plan says its plans for 2021 include exploring registered apprenticeship opportunities, developing employee retention supports, and deepening the work to ensure that job seekers in Pittsburgh and Allegheny County have pathways into careers with UPMC.

Pennsylvania Workforce Development Association represents the state’s 22 local workforce development boards, and through them hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvanians looking for living wage and community-strengthening jobs. All of the state’s 60+ PA CareerLink® centers are operated by PWDA members.


About UPMC Insurance Services

Serving 4 million members, UPMC Insurance Services is owned and operated by UPMC, a world-renowned health care provider and insurer based in Pittsburgh, Pa. UPMC Insurance Services includes commercial products from UPMC Health Plan for groups as well as individuals. Commercial products also include workers' compensation and employee assistance from nationally known Workpartners.® Government products include Medicare Advantage (UPMC for Life); special needs plans for those eligible for Medicare and Medical Assistance (UPMC for Life Complete Care and UPMC Community HealthChoices); Medical Assistance (UPMC for You); and Children's Health Insurance Program (UPMC for Kids). Community Care Behavioral Health, one of the nation's largest nonprofit managed care behavioral health organizations, offers a full range of services to Commercial and Medical Assistance members. For more information, visit